What is Structure LO25604

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 11/07/00

Replying to LO25557 --

Dear Organlearners,

Leo Minnigh <l.d.minnigh@library.tudelft.nl> writes:

>Before I will tell you, let me first give a strange other
>type of '?structure?': the hole. Could a hole be defined
>as a special type of a structure? Maybe this example
>is too philosophical??

Greetings Leo,

No, no, no. As student at university I also thought that "holes" (like in
semiconductor theory) is rather esoteric. Afterwards in my first job as a
researcher in soil science I began to appreciate the critical importance
of the various kinds of "holes" in a soil and the structure of each kind.
Worst of all, I had the Mental Model that the structure of the soil
particles determined the structure of the holes. I soon learned that the
structure of the soil is determined by many things: geological substrate,
soil particles, holes, microbes, worms, rodents, climate, objects tracking
on surface, etc. Most of all, I had to learn that the complex structure
of a soil is not static, but incredibly dynamic with a life of its own
which should be respected.

>So my advise is that we should not look only to
>and in the system to study and define its structure
>(internal, or convergent view), but that we also should
>look to the connections and relationships between the
>system with a structure and its environment (external,
>or divergent view).
>This is the main thing what I had in mind, when reading
>all the contributions on this topic.

Yes, perhaps I should one day paint a rich picture on just how many
creative thinkers from many civilisations and various continents were
aware of this thing which you had in mind -- the "dynamical structure" of
the inside and the outside considered as a whole.

The topic "Dialogue, language and learning" which you have initiated, also
have a bearing on this. The mother tongue of a person is that person's
most image of the world outside that person. In that mother tongue
patterns of the outside world is imaged which have a cricial impact on the
inner organisation of that person.

I myself believe that the "Rosetta stone" needed for interpreting this
"dynamical structure" of the inside and the outside considered as a whole
is LEP as it dances on LEC, formulated in terms of the insided (SY) and
the outside (SU) as I have done for example in the topic "Work and Free

>I have used in the beginning of this message the
>word 'symmetry'. It is a subject that in modern
>physics plays a crucial role.

Leo, even more important is the complementarity (rather than viewed as a
dialecticism) between "symmetry" and "symmetry breaking" which goes far
beyond physics into chemistry and biology. (We have to thank physicists
like Herman Weyl for using the word "breaking" together with "symmetry".
Do not scold me. I would rather have refered "creative collapse" and for
that you can scold me if it will make you feel better ;-) Both have to be
kept in mind to understand "dynamical structure". I prefer to call it
"organisation" rather than "dynamical structure". When we seek both the
statics and dynamics of structure, we end up with organisation rather than
merely structure.

>My thoughts are already playing for some time
>on this matter. Could for instance give symmetry
>us an answer on the question of the number
>seven of the essentialities of At? My intuition says
>yes, but as I mentioned the subject is untill now too
>complex for me. (There are seven symmetry groups
>in crystallography).

I have never before thought on this one issue. But what I do know is that
the seven essentialities make every "symmetry breaking" of a "symmetry" a
constructive rather than destructive event.

Leo, a question just as crucial for me as "What is structure?" is the
complementary question "How structure becomes?" I am today pretty sure
that answering the one question will not provide, not even indirectly, the
answer to the other question. As for myself the sheer beauty of "dynamical
structure" began to reveal itself when I began to seek answers on both
questions. I will be surprised if it was different for you with your
studies into geology.

Biologists have a very powerful way to distinguish between the statics and
the dynamics of "biological structures". They call them respectively
"morphology" (static) and "morphogenesis" (dynamic). It was nobody other
than Goethe with his own breah taking studies who brought their attention
to "morphogenesis" as the complement of "morphology".

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <Richard@Karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.